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Detroit Television News Expose' of H.I.'s


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Hi Everyone,

Well, those pesky news folks have been at it with hidden cameras again in the Detroit area. I'm posting the link to the first part of this little gem. As the other three are aired, I'll post each part here, so keep coming back to check them out. I'll be interested in everyone's take on this - whether they thought it was a fair and balanced piece, etc.

When you get to the link, scroll halfway down the page to "Clickon Video" and choose "Defenders Investigate Home Inspectors."

Part 1

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Well,

If they didn't sensationalize it, nobody would want to see it. Let's face it, news stories about inspectors doing a great job don't get much attention, 'cuz that's what we're paid to do. It's like the newspaper. All of the sensational stuff is always splashed on the front page and the stuff about Joe's Cleaners having contributed heavily to the neighborhood gets buried in the back.

I've never met the man or read much of his stuff, so I can't comment on Newcomer's past remarks. However, 'm not sure that he could have characterized a cracked heat exchanger or a gas leak - no matter how small - as insignificant, without coming under some pretty severe criticism from other "experts" in the gas or HVAC industry. After all, everyone knows that gas will explode - they just don't realize that most of the gas leaks are too diluted to do so - and any HVAC guy who is asked will cover his bottom by stating that a cracked H.E. is dangerous because of the potential to leak CO - no matter how remote.

Douglas, you know, don't you, that if Newcomer had said anything less, the news lady probably would have run off to either a gas company official or an HVAC guy to get an opposite opinion? Then she'd have a story about the poor training being given to home inspectors in the 'unregulated and unlicensed' business of home inspections, by 'supposedly reputable' trainers. They went out to do an undercover piece. That is the premise of their whole existence as "Defenders," so they don't want to know what the real facts are. It makes sense that gas people or HVAC folks will make a big deal of those issues if asked, so he couldn't leave himself wide open for that.

I was interested in that close-up view of the crack in the heat exchanger and how it was obtained? Was it viewable from outside with the naked eye or with the aid of a mirror, or did he use a bore scope, which would go beyond the scope of a 'visual inspection of those things that are exposed to view and apparent'? If the latter, then it really is a very unbalanced and unfair piece.

FWIW, I think the TIF is waaayyyy too sensitive. Many times, my TIF has reacted and when the gas company got there with their Bacharach equipment the same links were not revealed. We all know that Bacharach's equipment is pretty good, so it isn't a case of shoddy test equipment. Admittedly, sometimes those were situations where the operator hadn't adjusted his detector properly, but most of the time it was just that the TIF was over-sensitive.

I confirm my TIF readings with leak detection fluid. If I don't find bubbles, I don't care what the TIF says, the leak isn't enough to be concerned with. I've never had a gas leak come back at me since adopting that policy.

I wonder if it gets worse? We haven't seen the other three pieces yet. Is the gas leak and the cracked H.E. as bad as it gets, or will they make a big deal out of missed cosmetic issues or "toxic" mildew on bathtub surrounds next?

Waiting for Part 2.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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When you consider that an estimated one in three gas furnaces in use in America today has a cracked heat exchanger, you have to wonder where they are stacking all the bodies. BUT, the real question is how many thousands of people die every year preparing Thanksgiving dinner on with an unvented gas oven? The numbers must be top secret and it is a conspiracy.

For some of you "newbies" please take note; the products of combustion off of a gas flame (that is set up and burning properly) are carbon DIOXIDE, water and about a half dozen trace elements, none of which are harmful to humans.

You don't have a problem until you put so much carbon dioxide into the air that your flame is burning carbon dioxide instead of oxygen. When this happens, you get carbon MONOXIDE. That is deadly. For a "crack" in a furnace heat exchanger to put enough carbon dioxide into the space to displace combustion oxygen, the "crack" would have to be large enough for the furnace blower to blow the burner flame from Detroit to Cleveland. Furthermore, cracks usually don't result in any exchange between the two atmospheres.

However, this television expose' also uncovered other unreported problems that were valid concerns that these 1 1/2 hour inspections ignored. The insulation and shower issues are not excusable oversights. Gas leaks COULD be a concern depending on how much is leaking OR if is collecting. We should not jump to the defense of sloppy inspection procedures. Most of these guys did indeed dropped the ball.

George

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George,

What would be kewl, since you are in Michigan as well, is if you could contact the news lady, educate her on that subject before the series ends, and get her to quote an inspector with a quarter of a century in the HVAC business, in order to clarify the CO2 vs. CO thing, and use the unvented gas stove example as well.

It'd be kewl, but it isn't likely to happen is it?

However, it sounds like you've seen the other parts already. Is there a link you can direct me to, so I can grab those as well?

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Mike,

I am trying. Haven't had any calls returned and the email link on their site comes back undeliverable.

My guess is however that you are right, they don't want to hear anything I might have to say.

Several years ago they did a piece about how a woman stranded on the highway is unable to get help. They set up at a corner where there was a gas station on one corner, a restaurant on another, a shopping plaza on another and a big empty field on the 4th corner.

The stranded lady was in the left turn lane with the hood up on her car. The camera was in the drive of the gas station shooting her in her car with the empty field in the background. It looked like this lady was out in the middle of nowhere.

The real kicker was that the news people called my wife at the police department and told her they were doing a news piece and no help was really needed. My wife put the information out on the radio, so no patrol car would stop. But, they were however filmed driving by.

Well you guessed it ... The news cast showed a stranded lady, out in the middle of nowhere that not even the police would stop and help.

And they think we are not trustworthy.

George

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Personaly, I think you guys are being way too one-sided in your discussion about the ASHI Home Inspection Trainer from Wisconcin that was nice enough to go over to Detroit Michigan for the TV Special. I'm sure Scott Newcomer was just trying to help protect concumers and had no idea how this would be used.

Oh, by the way I also saw that AHIT (Newcomers School) is starting to offer HI Training Classes in Michigan later this month if you know of anyone interested in becoming a GOOD HI.

What I was most impressed with was the ASHI Lines on licensure - it was like they had talked to a PR person from ASHI HQ. THey had all the qupotes down to a Tee.

One of the HI's on that expose (Lon Grossman) is a Syndicated Writer and long time HI, not noted for being Realestator Friendly. Supposed to be very picky, which immediately throws a giant shadow over the REAL CONDITIONS present.

Dan Bowers (Kansas City)

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Okay,

Let's try to keep in mind the fact that this is a piece put out by a television news team whose bread and butter is exposing those who they want us to believe are the bad people of the world, and try and keep the ASHI vs. everyone else debate out of the thread.

She probably got her idea for the piece after hearing a horror story from a regular viewer of her program, or a friend who had a bad inspection experience. Then, she did her research before starting the piece and typed home inspector into a search engine like Google. Wisconsin has home inspector regulation - Michigan doesn't. AHIT is all over the internet, so she found Newcomer's location to be convenient to her for her purposes. The guy would have been foolish not to jump at a chance to promote his school, given such an opp. Don't make such a big deal out of it.

If the piece had been done in Vancouver, WA, using an inspector from Portland, OR, where they have regulation of home inspectors, they might have used an AII or NAHI inspector and probably would have inserted the commentary about AII or NAHI as well. However, to think that any news piece on home inspections won't mention ASHI is naive'. ASHI has a 10 year head start over the nearest other national organization and they too are all over the internet. Do a search for home inspections on google and peruse the hundreds of news articles written about home inspectors in the past and ASHI is mentioned in virtually all of them. Naturally, she'd mention ASHI, they have the largest membership. Nothing nefarious in that.

It's just sad though that she doesn't mention that ASHI, NAHI, AII and NACHI combined probably don't even comprise 20% of all home inspectors in the country. To me, that says more about all of these associations than it speaks to which is better than which.

Be proud of whatever association you belong to - or the fact that you don't belong to one, if that is what you want to do - but get over it. Why make every single discussion about anything home inspection related a discussion of A association vs. B association?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Sure,

But something had to prompt her to do that in the first place. My bet is that someone had a bad experience and let her know about it. However, one bad home inspection isn't enough to brand a whole profession, she had to make it look like the problem is emblematic of the business.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I don't think anybody is disking ASHI. It just so happens however, that anybody thats been on ASHI's PR Committee (locally or nationally) or served as a Chapter Officer has noticed the past few years the TACTFUL PUSH toward the articles starting with "Unlicensed, unregulated and ..................". That verbage seemed to have come from ASHI's PR jumble and got picked up by everyone else.

Then you remember the Infamous "White Paper" presented at a National ASHI BOD Meeting about 2 years ago by a group called EBPHI saying they had informally met with key ASHI leaders and decided the only way the NHIE was going to be financially successful was if ASHI started using their Media & PR contacts to stir up the pot(reasoning was that although not dead there was no huge consumer outcry for licensure and most states were budget poor).

So I think a lot of people that know that aren't disking ASHI as much just reminiscing.

Dan Bowers (Kansas City)

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